It began with a shriek; as if someone; a child, was being flayed without benefit of anesthetic. I looked around, expecting to see something horrible, instead, saw nothing but other diners, who for the most part seemed as perplexed as I. They searched as well, hoping to determine who or what was the source of the ungodly screams.It was a child—at least I assumed it was a child, and not a midget, that had donned a kid’s clothing, and was determined to ruin as many dining experiences as possible. The table where she was seated, was populated by a variety of humankind; several adults, and other children of grade school age. It seemed to me, and to the others in the place who were being audibly tortured, that instead of silencing the racket, it was being tolerated—possibly even being encouraged, because not once during or after many 300 decibel outbursts, was an attempt made to shut up the howler.
This went on for a good half hour, and during one impressive aria, I spotted a gentleman about my age, (who rolled his eyes as he passed our table) slipped out to regain his composure. When he returned, a little less tense, he was welcomed with a scream.
Thinking back an eon or two, when Sharon and I were raising our brood, that type of display wasn’t tolerated. Period. The offender would be ushered out, and if of an age to understand what was what, wasn’t allowed back inside until the tantrum was over. If it was an infant who was creating the scene, then one of us would take the baby outside until it quieted.
During a church service seems to be a time when junior vocalists attempt to gain attention with a variety of howls. It is appreciated when a parent takes the child out, to quiet it down, but there are the others, who like the table of hearing deprived diners ignores the racket, lets the kid scream, with no thought to those around them. Just last Sunday, one noisemaker had chosen a quiet period during the service, to caterwaul. It went on for what seemed several minutes, until as if on cue, about three-quarters of the congregation turned to deliver a silent message to the perpetrator—and the parents.
But back to the un-savored meal, evidently both howler and parents were at last sated, with food or noise, for they left, taking their two legged siren with them. We took a few minutes to regain our composure, and returned to our meal.
It was then I spotted the lady with the extra long fingernails, dragging a blackboard, being followed by a Scottish bagpiper in full dress. “Well,” I said to my companions, I think it’s time to leave.”Here’s a gadget for you to identify. A virtual double-decker ice cream cone to the winner.